New Delhi: Boosting employment via PSUs, extending tax holiday to investors and facilitating recruitment in para and military forces are some of the ideas that find mention in the Union government’s roadmap for Jammu and Kashmir.
Accessed by News18, the roadmap explores ways to develop the newly created Union Territory, with specialised ministries like Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DONER) sending a study team to assist in rebuilding J&K and Ladakh.
As part of the roadmap, the home ministry has proposed two battalions in CRPF and BSF to fulfil its promise of 50,000 job opportunities for Kashmiri youth in army and paramilitary forces. The Indian army has already started a recruitment drive in Chenab valley, eliciting 30,000 responses from Doda, Kishtawar, Reasi and surrounding districts.
The cabinet secretariat is also looking to identify 3-5 public sector units that can start operations in the Valley. The finance ministry has proposed a tax holiday of seven years, including GST relaxation, for investors in the region. The investor summit, which had been postponed, is still high on the agenda of the NITI Aayog.
As per document accessed by News18, the power ministry is exploring ways to reduce power tariff under existing programmes of State Electricity Regulatory Commissions and State Electricity Boards. The renewable energy ministry is looking to develop Ladakh as a destination for solar power generation, while the food processing ministry is devising ways to encourage use of indigenous produce. The government has also proposed to undertake a cost analysis of producing white goods (electrical consumer durables) in Kashmir compared to neighbouring states like Punjab and Himachal Pradesh.
Home secretary AK Bhalla is likely to visit J&K and Ladakh soon to take stock of the measures the government has already sanctioned.
Kashmir has been under lockdown with a communication blackout in place since August 5 when the government stripped J&K of statehood and special status. In an attempt to restore normalcy, the remaining 19 telephone exchanges in the Valley, which were under communication restrictions, were opened on Wednesday night.